Roughie chasing All-Star Mile return
MAN Of His Word might have finished well back in the inaugural All-Star Mile but that won't stop Grand Syndications manager Sam Lyons chasing a potential berth in next month's $5 million feature at Caulfield.
Although Man Of His Word finished 12th last year, Lyons said the horse's 20 owners loved the experience and would to try to get back into the race after earning enough votes to secure a start last year.
"We also had a runner in the Golden Eagle last year with Behemoth and the atmosphere on All-Star Mile was so much better," Lyons said.
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"The vibe in the mounting yard was something I've never experienced before. For a lot of people it was climbing a mountain to have a runner in a $5 million race."
Man Of His Word was one of the 95 nominations last week for the All-Star Mile, which will be run on March 14.
He is only one of three horses who ran in the race last year, attempting to get back into the race. The others are the winner Mystic Journey and third placegetter Alizee.
Lyons said a decision on whether they would pursue a spot again would depend on how Man Of His Word ran at Flemington on Saturday, where he will contest the Thank You Firefighters Benchmark 84 (1200m).
"He would want to be winning or hitting the line hard to go down the All-Star Mile path again. If he races well that's what we'll do."
Last year Man Of His Word earned his ticket to the race as Lyons used the Grand Syndications network and its many owners to remain prominent in voting.
Lyons said it would be a better Man Of His Word who would run this year as trainer Dean Krongold was training him differently.
"We are keeping him fresh and riding him cold as he's had a couple of issues around his breathing, which we've worked out," he said.
"I'm not saying he'll be challenging the top end of the race but if he got in this year I'm confident he'd run well."
Last year Lyons said that they had 100 people along to support Man Of His Word, including his 20-man ownership group.
"We did a function with Shelley Hancox Syndications and she also had 100 people along. There was a great buzz in that room and then in the mounting yard before, during and after the race there was a really great vibe as well.
"It's a big thing for owners who aren't at the top end of the market to have a runner in a $5 million race.
"At the top of the straight he loomed and looked a real chance and we got quite excited."
Lyons said Man Of His Word qualified for this year's race by finishing second first-up at Ballarat over 1200m, where he collected a cheque for $27,500.
Lyons has been thrilled with Man of His Word's two runs this time in which were second in that Ballarat race and then a fast finishing fifth in the Christmas Stakes at Caulfield on Boxing Day.
Voting opens for the All-Star Mile on Thursday.